< Last Photo   << Last Chapter                Notes on the Geography of Places: Northern India: Vrindaban: Govind Deo Temple         Next Chapter >>   Next Photo > 
 

Notes on the Geography of Northern India: Vrindaban: Govind Deo Temple

In Vrindaban (formerly Brindaban), which is along the Yamuna River upstream from Agra, Man Singh of Amber (Jaipur) built a remarkable temple to Govind Deo, an avatar of Krishna. Man Singh was a contemporary of the Emperor Akbar, and the shape of the building echoes Akbar's own works at the same time as it embodies an utterly foreign tradition.

Make default image size larger

Notes on the Geography of Northern India: Vrindaban: Govind Deo Temple

Govind Deo

Make default image size larger

Northern India: Vrindaban: Govind Deo Temple picture 1

Front view. The temple was either left unfinished or was partly destroyed by order of Auranzeb. There may, or may not, have been a tower.

Northern India: Vrindaban: Govind Deo Temple picture 2

We're walked around to the west side. Here's Fergusson, still surprisingly serviceable a century after the publication of his History of Indian and Eastern Architecture: "It is, however, the combination of vertical with horizontal lines, covering the whole surface, that forms the great merit of the design. This is, indeed, not peculiar to this temple; but at Bhuvaneswar, Halebid, and elsewhere, the whole surface is so overloaded with ornament as to verge on bad taste."

Northern India: Vrindaban: Govind Deo Temple picture 3

Balcony on the south facade.

Northern India: Vrindaban: Govind Deo Temple picture 4

Almost a joke, that trace of figurative decoration.

Northern India: Vrindaban: Govind Deo Temple picture 5

The shrine may be a make-do adaptation, if as many think the temple was supposed to continue farther west.

Northern India: Vrindaban: Govind Deo Temple picture 6

The striking thing about the temple is its cruciform vaulting, which forms what amounts to a nave extending to an altar. Vaulting in Hindu temples is almost unknown, and Fergusson called this exception "internally nearly quite perfect."

Northern India: Vrindaban: Govind Deo Temple picture 7

The crossing. Fergusson again: "Over the four arms of the cross the vault is plain, and of 23 1/2 ft. span, but in the centre it expands to 35 ft., and is quite equal in design to the best Gothic vaulting known."

Northern India: Vrindaban: Govind Deo Temple picture 8

Lintel over the shrine; the monkey is one of many that can be a nuisance.

Northern India: Vrindaban: Govind Deo Temple picture 9

Aisle pillars.

Northern India: Vrindaban: Govind Deo Temple picture 10

Compare this with the very similar work done for Akbar at about the same time at Fatehpur Sikri.

Northern India: Vrindaban: Govind Deo Temple picture 11

The context you'd rather not see; buildings immediately south of the temple.


www.greatmirror.com Web   
 

* Australia * Austria * Bangladesh * Belgium * Botswana * Brazil * Burma / Myanmar * Cambodia (Angkor) * Canada (B.C.) * China * The Czech Republic * Egypt * Fiji * France * Germany * Ghana * Greece * Hungary * India: Themes * Northern India * Peninsular India * Indonesia * Israel * Italy * Japan * Jerusalem * Jordan * Kenya * Laos * Kosovo * Malawi * Malaysia * Mauritius * Mexico * Morocco * Mozambique * Namibia * The Netherlands * New Zealand * Nigeria * Norway * Oman * Pakistan * The Philippines * Poland * Portugal * Senegal * Singapore * South Africa * Spain * Sri Lanka * Sudan * Syria (Aleppo) * Tanzania * Thailand * Trinidad * Turkey (Istanbul) * Uganda * The U.A.E. (Dubai) * The United Kingdom * The Eastern United States * The Western United States * Oklahoma * Uzbekistan * Vietnam * The West Bank * Yemen * Zambia * Zimbabwe *
go back to previous picture go to next chapter go to next picture go to previous chapter page